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Stronger CONNECT-ions

KEO Connect aims to help small and medium-sized property agencies enhance their business operations. (Photo: KEO Connect)

A new society for practising KEOs was officially launched on 1 September 2016.

KEO Connect was established as a non-profit organisation on 28th November 2014. Its founding members had a vision to help small and medium-sized property agencies enhance their business operations and increase productivity by providing a platform for networking and sharing of information and experiences.

The society also seeks to collaborate, promote, and advance the status and interests of practicing KEOs to better serve clients by raising industry professionalism.

At the society’s official launch, CEA’s Deputy Executive Director Mr Chan Mun Kit reiterated the important role that KEOs play in setting the standards for the real estate agency industry, and in steering it through the challenges ahead.

Mr Chan pointed out that the impact of technological disruption has already been felt in the real estate agency industry. Some businesses have already changed their business models to set up DIY portals that cater to consumers who prefer to handle property transactions on their own, bypassing property agents altogether. Consumers too, have become savvier, with a greater number completing their property transactions without engaging an agent.

“We are unable to predict the extent of the impact that these shifting tides will have on the real estate agency industry. What is certain is that the industry needs to look at how you can remain relevant to consumers, how you can innovate, and try out new ways and solutions that will add value for your customers,” said Mr Chan.

He encouraged leaders in the industry to strive towards raising ethical standards and professionalism for their estate agencies, so as to gain the public’s trust in the profession.

CEA's management met KEO Connect's committee members to learn about the society's upcoming initiatives.

“CEA is committed to work with partners like KEO Connect to improve the standing of the industry, and to realise our joint vision of a more professional and trusted real estate agency industry.”

Going forward, KEO Connect has already lined up various initiatives to bring greater value to industry professionals.

One of the items topping KEO Connect President Adam Wang’s to-do list is to unite the smaller property agencies by promoting a common approach to standards, structure, professional guidance, and to cultivate a knowledge sharing community among the agencies.

Mr Wang said, “Smaller sized property agencies tend to lose out on training and resources. We intend to work with other professional bodies and reputable institutions to roll out CPD courses for our members and their agents. Furthermore, we are working to collaborate with dispute resolution centres will continue to garner greater bulk discounts from vendors.”

CEA met with KEO Connect committee members in October as part of our regular engagements with industry partners.

The session enabled us to learn more about the society’s initiatives in the pipeline and gather more insights on the ground issues that the smaller and medium sized property agencies face.